To the men I have loved
Mirtha and I have been friends for seven years. We met on the set of the ABC show Ugly Betty . Each day, on set, Mirtha would bring in different poems she had written and or share different stories/saga's that we'd always look forward to hearing. Now, she is an accomplished author, "Letters, To The Men I Have Loved" is a best seller and was the #1 poetry book on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble; an accomplished actor, her independent film Awol72 is out now; and she is a world traveler, among many other things. Her second book "Elusive Loves Amores Esquivos" will be available to purchase November 2015. Mirtha Michelle Castro Mármol is gorgeous inside and out. She is layered in love, passion and spice, and is always a joy to be with. Mirtha's truth, through her writing, has inspired many people, including myself, and she is also sharing her message by speaking publicly at colleges around the globe. Without further adieu, please enjoy segments from our two hour conversation: Photography by Alexander Black MIRTHA: My book is titled "Letters, To The Men I Have Loved" and it's a poetry book. Aside from poetry I wrote stories, in the form of letters, to the men whom impacted my life. Not only men that I was involved with, but also men like my father, my grandfather, my brother, my nephew.
EVA: Men that you still love? M: I still love them, you know I loved them then and I love them now, I'm always going to care for them. It's about these relationships and stories of the feelings they evoked in me. It feels like a little short novel of a girl becoming a woman.
E: Yea M: And it's very relatable and most readers have really--it has sort of like a little cult following now and I think it's because a lot of readers especially female readers-- relate to a lot of the stories and emotions I tell about, because we all live similar experiences, we all live stories of lust, resentment, and passion. E: We all do live similar experiences. It's incredible even William Shakespeare's work, which was written so long ago, dealing with a lot of the same circumstances, is very relatable to this day. The human condition and love are amazing things. M: Because love is relatable, it's the one thing,?The human need. ?It doesn't matter where you are in life where in the world you live, your social economic background or your race we all experience love and we experience loss. ?Because that's what I talk about in my book as well, I experienced love, loss and hope, because I believe that after you experience any sort of loss the most important thing to have is hope. You can always love again. It doesn't matter how many things happen to you or how you thought you were broken, you can regroup and find your purpose. I think my book can be a little sad at times, but a lot of people have written to me and said "oh my god I cried so much but at the same time I healed through it."
E: That's a good thing. M: I never intended for people to cut their veins or anything like that, but I did intend for people to feel. E: Yea, I was just going to say that. M: I am a feeler. E: Me too. M: And I've been one my entire life. ?I got into acting cause I'm a feeler. For me feeling is much more important then almost anything else, it's the one thing that keeps me human. E: Yes M: And with writing... I started writing when I was a kid. I wrote my first poem at 6years old about things I dreamt of. ?So for me the book is not about men particularly, in the sense that I don't really describe how they look, I describe the way they made me feel, at certain times. ?I do wish I had described more of the happier times, but sometimes when things end you don't remember all the happy times, you remember the bad things, like why it ended.
E: And often we remember the bad times so we don't make that mistake again. M: So you won't make that mistake again, but it's really about personal realizations, it's all a journey of finding yourself. E: Do any of the men know, other then your family, do they know you wrote to them? M: Of the three men I wrote about, only one of them doesn't, I didn't tell him, if he happens to read it,?then so be it. E: So you are an artist all the way around, you're an actor, you're a writer, you're... what else have you been doing lately? ?Are you focusing right now on writing or are you acting too? M: It's interesting I always say yes I'm an actress and I fell in love with acting. When I was twenty years old I decided to pursue it and I have credits and so forth, but I've been writing technically before I decided to become an actress, so in my heart, in my heart I've been a writer all my life.
E: That's fantastic. And you also love Paris? ?You were just there recently right? Does traveling affect your work? M: I do love Paris. It's one of my favorite cities. I actually wrote part of my book in Paris. I mention Paris in my book in one of the last letters. There's something about Paris that I absolutely love. I think it's very special, especially when you travel alone. You get to know yourself so much better. You don't have someone to constantly be communicating with, right next to you, so when you're walking the streets of a beautiful city, alone, you're asking yourself a lot of questions. Questions you normally wouldn't ask yourself if you were around people and I think that's the key to understanding yourself. We take all this time to get to know other people, by asking them questions, like what's your favorite color? Do you like reading? Do you like books? What's your favorite movie? ?We ask our friends all of these questions when we're getting to know them, that's how we get to know them, by asking questions, but do we ever really do that with ourselves? Those internal conversations always occur when you travel alone.
E: And being stimulated by something outside of you. M: Yes the environment. ?Its not the same for me to ask those internal questions, for example, living in Los Angeles. I live here and I have so many friends and distractions. So when you're in another country you're sort of forced to be by yourself and learn more about yourself. E: How has being raised by "great men" affected your love life and expectations? M: You can't be raised by great men and not expect more. E: Why do you say that? M: Because your perception, my perception, is that men should act a certain way, men should protect you, men like my father for example, he always allowed me to have my own opinion on things and is very adamant on me reading and researching and having my own beliefs and whether it was religion or history or anything, he never told me what to do. Instead he gave me a lot of knowledge in order for me to make my own decisions. My grandfather is another example of character and dignity and integrity. So when you're raised with men that are all like this, you end up having expectations on how other men should be. (Mirtha Michelle and myself at Joans on Third)